ASSE's Safety and Health Program for Small Businesses

by Denis Zeimet, Ph.D., CIH, and David Ballard

Published by ASSE, 1800 E. Oakton St., Des Plaines, IL 60018-2187. Phone (847) 699-2929. 1998, 3-ring binder, 315 pages plus glossary and summary of relevant OSHA Standards. $149.95 members/ $164.95 nonmembers. ISBN 1-885581-18-1. ASSE Order #4368.

Small businesses bear a considerable burden in complying with the myriad of safety and health regulations, especially if they cannot afford the resources and expertise that could help them establish an effective program. They also need to understand what their responsibilities are under the law, and must be able to develop written programs that are easy to understand and follow.

The manual Safety and Health Program for Small Businesses is just the sort of resource to meet these needs. This manual is written in a way that affords the user simple, straightforward direction in establishing an effective safety and health program. In addition to providing critical background about OSHA, it addresses 16 specific program topics in the most familiar (and frequently OSHA-cited) program areas, such as housekeeping and material storage, hazard communication, permit-required confined spaces, and workplace emergencies.

What makes this manual user-friendly is that it provides basic program information that can be copied directly into the employer's program, while it also advises the manual user of items that need to be added to complete the program. Training and inspection forms are found throughout the manual.

Key policy directives involving identification of imminent danger hazards are placed in bold and boxed throughout the text. Illustrations and diagrams are used in strategic locations to help the reader to visualize the reasons for the safety standard, or to understand the conditions or setting referred to in the text.

This manual is the type of resource that can be recommended to anyone who needs to get started on safety and health program development for their organization. Safety and Health Program for Small Businesses will assist companies with limited resources to establish an effective safety and health program-a program that identifies responsibilities with written directives developed for their organization.

William N. West, CSP, Program Coordinator,
Workers Compensation/Safety, Iowa Department of Personnel
Barry J. Best, Safety Officer,
Iowa Department of Personnel

NOTE: ASSE's Safety and Health Program for Small Businesses has recently been adopted as reference manual for all state departments within the State of Iowa.